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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » partners with problems

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Author Topic: partners with problems
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Well, as much as we love our partners, just like us, they come with their own lives and issues...and sometimes problems, such as depression, drug problems, serious illnesses, or other issues that can make relationships even more of a challenge?

How do you cope when the person you love doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning? What do you do when you suspect your partner may beginning to fall for the bottle more than for you? When do you have to say good bye so that you can save yourself rather than go down with the relation ship?

Alternately, when have you and your partner proved to be a source of mutual strength for each other? Shared adversity can form some pretty powerful bonds.

have at.


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Scarleteen Volunteer
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Ohhh ... very nice topic, Erin.

I was in a relationship w/ a guy battling severe depression, alcoholism and he used drugs, a lot. He was extremely violent. He really scared me ... But i was so in love w/ him. It was an emotionally abuseive relationship, on both ends. Eventually he broke it off. I know i never would've been able to. There's no way ... I was so addicted to him. There was just no way around it. But it was defineatly for the best.

In my current relationship, my partner used to suffer from severe depression as well and had problems w/ anger management. He seems to be over it. He's no longer in therapy or on meds and he helps me a lot when i need him. I feel like i can talk to him about anything and everything and he doesn't make me feel like a weirdo for feeling the way i do. He's defineatly what keeps me "above water" ...

It's really important to look after yourself before your partner tho. You can't love anyone else until you love yourself ... it's just not possible. Remember that!

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I've always been that partner, and i always feel really bad about it, it makes my situtation worse, becuase i'm not only depressed about whatever, i'm deppressed about being depressed. So my boyfriend, just tells me it's okay, and all he want's is for me to get happy, and if that means i have to lie there in his arms for a while, then so be it. And he hates when i smoke ciggrettes. so he's set up bounderies, and it's working to an extent.
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im in a relationship like that right now.
my boyfriend has severe depression but refuses to get any help for it. sometimes, without realizing it, he takes it out on me, bringing me to tears or having a nervous breakdown since i am, erm, emotionally unstable as well. all you can do is be there for that person and listen to them and encourage them to get help since you cant handle it all yourself. if he does take it out on you, make sure you are comfortable enough with him to talk about it afterwards. if he is aware of his problem he will realize he was wrong afterwards.

Posts: 19 | From: pa, usa | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I'm really depressed and I have been on and off for about a year now. I'm doing everything I could possibly be doing to get better and it just isn't happening. I feel terrible inflicting myself on my girlfriend because she's just so cool. It's a very new relationship and I feel like she's just going to run screaming once she gets to know me better. Also, I know that it's terrible to have someone you know kill themself, and I'm just not confident that I never will. I mean, I definitely don't want to die now . . . but who knows a year from now? And if we're still together, I would just never want to do that to her.

Limes Are Sublime

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Have you ever thought that your girlfriend might like you because of who you are, and not as you percieve yourself to be? I think you should let her some slack here about her judgement. You've shown a lot of compassion empathy and good sense on these boards. Perhaps your girlfriend sees what we see?

The most exciting phrase in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" ("I found it!") but rather "Hmmm... that's funny...."

- Isaac Asimov

Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Ahh.. a boyfriend I had last year was a very severe drug addict. It didn't matter to me that he did drugs, because I figured that I could still be there for him and help him get past it, but it didn't really work like that. He didn't even want to quit and after I knew him for awhile I realized that he was not only a drug addict, but a jerk, a womanizer (who didn't respect my choice to not have sex until marriage), and the total opposite of the kind of guy I was looking for. He verbally abused me and constantly hit on other women (seriously hit on them- he probably would have cheated on me if one of those women would have fell for his crap).

So, I needed to give it a rest. I couldn't be in a relationship with someone who treated me like that, someone who I disliked more and more every day. Apparently the drugs combined with his immaturity just kinda overloaded. So, I told him to back off and ended it.

I probably could've dealt with his drug problem, but even without the addiction I think he still would have been a jerk. Hey, I'm way better without him.

Come check out what's goin on in Lucky's mind!

"At one point we decided to fight fire with fire. Well...basically...your house burned even faster."

[This message has been edited by Lucky1402 (edited 05-16-2001).]

Posts: 492 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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My girlfriend and I have infamous, major breakdowns, but never at the same time. Both of us have been clinically depressed (hers was psychological, mine biological), both of us have been at high risks for suicide (I'm a trained intervenor, so I know how to recognize risk factors), and we're both HUGE drama queens, so when the fecal matter hits the fan, we really, really blow up. We are both keenly aware of the up and down points before we hit them, and we just hang on to each other to keep our heads above water.

I think the best example of this is when she broke up with her FIANCEE...(bastard) because he cheated on her three times over the last six months of their relationship. It's actually how we ended up getting together. She had just found out about it for sure, and had tossed him out on his *** at my 20th birthday party. At the time, I was hopelessly in love with her, but with my highly developed personal sense of honor, refused to make any move. Her other best friend at the time repeatedly told her that the guy hadn't cheated, that _I_ must be brainwashing her to think he had, and that she should get back together with him ASAP. My girl started talking more and more to me. We had a lot of long, late night talks. I even got to sleep in her bed. Talk about torturing yourself...I always took an extra blanket until she told me to stop being so silly and to crawl in with her. I nearly died on the spot.

We spent a long time discussing him and her, and why she felt so terrible. I was always afraid she would start cutting herself again (she did in grade 10). There were a number of remarkable tearfests there. And then, finally, she made a pass at me. We were talking about nothing much one morning, and she leaned over and kissed me. BING! LOL. We've been crazy for each other ever since.

Posts: 140 | From: Saskatoon, SK, Canada | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lisa D
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This is a topic with which i am very well aquainted.

Last year, my fiance and i had the worst year of our lives. He endured three painful surgeries (stent insertion, kidney stone lithotripsy/stent removal, hernia repair/removal of an absessed (sp?) testicle), his (and mine, since we had lived together for four years) cat, Mel, died, a major customer of my company's declared bankruptcy, and left my father's and my company in a real lurch, and then, just when we thought it was all over, My fiance's mother died unexpectedly.

The both of us were so depressed, I thought sure we had fallen into a hole we'd never get out of - he was in major physical and emotional pain, and I could take care of him, but i couldn't make the pain go away. I'm not sure who has it the worst, the partner going through it, or the partner who watches they who they love go through it, and can't do a damn thing to make it better. all in all, bad for everyone involved.

You know what i did? I put the best face on it i could, summoned every last reserve of strength I could find, and took care of him while he recovered. We had a very hard time, but he's strong, and put on the best face he could to still be present, and be a partner to me. It was the hardest thing either of us has ever had to do.

But, as most of you know, time is a wonderful healer. It took lots of it, but now, both of us are doing wonderfully, and are having a great time planning our wedding. We have hard times, to be sure, but the bad times we've endured only serve to strengthen our relationship, and bring us closer. Hard times can rip people apart, but if you know that this is the partner you want to be with, you have to be strong, and realize that, to quote Norman Vincent Peale (yeah, I can't help but like the guy) "tough times never last, but tough people do."

Posts: 442 | From: Dublin, OH USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Originally posted by ErinK:
How do you cope when the person you love doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning?

This is sadly appropriate, as my boyfriend was juuuuust diagnosed with depression . . . eck. ::sighs:: It's not too bad to deal with; just the exhaustion. He actually seems much happier now that we know what it is that's been bothing him for the past months.

Signed, Moth.

"Nothing in Life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." -Marie Curie

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i am a manic depressive
i used to just keep everything to myself because i didn't want to bother neone with my problems. i didn't want to have other people know the horrors of my life. i met this boy and we became very good friends, then bf/gf. he got me to be open with whatz going on in my life with my friends. we've long since broken up, and now, sometimes i just feel that i am too open.
i feel like if im a sinking ship, why should i shoot out a torpedo and bring down another ship that just came by to help?
this bothers me to this day. when is it ok to be open? when is it best to keep things to yourself?
i can only imagine how hard it is for my boyfriend right now to put up with me, im miserable. i feel awful.
i didn't mean to type this much, i guess that it jsut really hit close to home.

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I always feel as if I am the one in the relationship that is like that.. I am a BIG worry wart, and I always blow things out of proportion. Especially things pertaining to our relationship. I'm always afraid it'll drive him away. I'm probably going to go on anxiety medicine.
But everyone has problems. He has clinical depression.


shedding skin sucumb defeat
this machine is obsolete

Posts: 124 | From: Lucasville, OH, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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It's certainly difficult when you have a partner that's having major life issues... I can still remember with vivid detail when my girlfriend just up and disappeared from the world.

She had been coming to school with progressively more scars on her arms, so much that she had resorted to wearing long-sleeved shirts all the time. I didn't even think that she was cutting, it took a friend asking me if she was to even make it click (at which point I told the friend no, but knew it my mind she was).

Well, eventually one day I go to our shared locker in the morning, and all her stuff's gone. It happened once before when we got in a fight, so I made it my mission to find her and figure out what the heck was up -- well, she wasn't there that day. Or for about a week and a half after.

It took a week before she called me, and told me that her mom had checked her into a program because of her cutting. As much as it freaked me out, I was there as a sounding board (and I knew my dumping her over it would just make things worse, despite how incredibly freaked I was at the time).

The relationship survived it, though at the time I wondered if my sanity would. There's only so much of someone's problems you can take before you just want to curl up in the fetal position and zone out.

Posts: 80 | From: Phoenix, AZ, USA | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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I know it is not a panacea, but there are very good medications for depression these days. Depression is caused by a low level of seritonin in the brain. Depressed seritonin levels can be caused by many things, both physical and emotional. Prozac, Zyloft and Paxil all address low seritonin levels, and can be very useful. It is best if they are combined with some therapy to help with the underlying causes of the depression if it is emotionally based. Like Advil, it will make you feel much better, but will generally not cure the underlying problem. If you know someone who is depressed, get them to see a doc. there is help out there and depression is not something to be ashamed about any more than high blood pressure is.

"and these three, faith hope and love abide, and the greatest of these is love"

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John Doe, medication isn't always helpful for everyone. It's not very much like advil because it's not like you go to the doctor, say "I'm depressed," they give you a bottle of pills, you take them, and you're fine. Recovering from depression is a long hard process even with medication. It's even worse if the person doesn't want to get better. I know that when I was at my worst, I believed that I was so terrible that I deserved to be depressed, and ultimately deserved to die. At that point, I wasn't very open to taking medication or talking to anyone. It took me over a year to get better, including six months of which I was on medication and it wasn't doing anything at all.

*Limes Are Sublime*

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Scarleteen Volunteer
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Hmm ... PoetGirl has a point. Getting over depression isn't all in a pill bottle. Granted, i think a lot of it does have to do w/ drugs ... I've been on zoloft, effexor and finally prozac, and i'm a much happier person now.

However, I'm also in therapy. It's the two combined that are fixing things ... not just one. I couldn't be in therapy w/o being on meds b/c i'm just not able to talk about deep seeded issues. And i can't be on meds w/o therapy b/c that's just the way it is ... My psychiatrist won't write me a prescription for any kind of anti-depressent knowing that i'm not doing 'talk therapy'.

It's really more of a life-style change, i think. You have to learn to deal w/ it ... And each time you have a relapse of depression, your chances of another one goes up. You have to learn how to cope and how to prevent it from happening again.

When mom found my diaphram, I told her it was a bathing cap for my cat.
~ Liz Winston

In a Smurf's world ...

Posts: 7168 | From: Ontario | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I went thru a horrible stage of depression last year, and I think I'm slowly slipping into it again. My BF of 3 years (thank God for him) has been so supportive of me through it. He encouraged me to get professional help through counseling and drugs. He sat with me hours upon hours just listening to me cry and talk. I'm not going to lie, our relationship suffered, and we almost broke up, but he proved to me that we were strong enough to make it through the worst of times. If you're in a committed relationship, I think that it comes as part of your description as a significant other to be there for that person as much as you can. If it's too much of a strain on your relationship, I think the best thing to do would be to back off the relationship for a while, and just be as good a friend to that person as possible. Depression is a horrible thing, and a bad breakup could be just what may push the person over the edge.
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Scarleteen Volunteer
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My husband and I both have fibromyalgia, which makes things pretty difficult at times. We're also both prone to depression, which only makes it worse. Fortunately, we seem to "trade off" feeling bad -- when I'm having a really rough time, he's usually okay, and vice versa. There've been a few times when we both fell apart at once, but when that happens, we call my best friend or his mom or brother to come help us out until we're back on our feet.

It's been a challenge, and it's certainly put some strains on our relationship -- but I'm glad we're able to be there for each other. We've only been a couple for about a year, but we were good friends for nearly five years before we got together, and I think that helps a lot.


Posts: 1685 | From: New York City | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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This is a good group to help us get things off our chests, this board is so great.

My b/f has a problem being faithful to me, sex is really meaningless to him unless he loves the person he`s doing it with, he doesn`t see anything wrong with doing it with anyone, it`s so casual to him but so important to me and it causes a lot of resentment on both our parts.

He also used to be physically and mentally abusive, he`s controlled his temper much better the past few months and has really been under control of himself better than before.

And he has some identy problems that cause a lot of trouble between us and put me in really difacult places, and sometimes I`m just no sure how to react to him. I love him and most of the time I feel he`s trying to do better.

He`s relunctant to seat professional help because he`s worried that if he had to do in patient time we might not get to talk or see each othr for a while.

I was in a mental hospital for a short stay myself during the time he and I were broken up, I have borderline personality disorder and I can get really difacult to deal with and confusing.

All of this can make it really hard on both of us to get along with each other all the time.

I really do hope the best for everyone.

"You want some body for a very long time. And then you have them, and they love you. And they make love to you, and itís not enough. Thatís the truth about sex." Jackie-O, The House of Yes

Posts: 21 | From: California, USA | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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i am 18. my boyfriend just turned 21 about a month ago. he drank a lot before, but now he constantly has a beer in hand.

i know he will always deny he has a drinking problem. and i can't really say he has a drinking problem because he isn't **** faced drunk every day, and i don't think it affects his work life negatively or anything because he's always there on time and all. but then again im not sure what qualifies as alcoholism.

he is always drinking beer, 7 days a week, pretty much all through the day, because it "relaxes" him. he says its no big deal. his friends at work buy him drinks. when he goes out (to clubs 3-4 nights a week, which is a whole different issue that upsets me) he drinks his hard liquor and gets really drunk. and usually winds up driving home. he asks me what he is supposed to do, if he has no ride home and nowhere to stay, and i tell him not to get himself intothe situation int he FIRST placwe but he doesn't care. he doesn't see it as a problem at all. he has had his stomach pumped 3 times in the past, but he says it was during high school so it is an issue of the past.

it hurts me that he goes to clubs and drinks and probabl dances all night with other girls or hooks up with them (although he swares he has never and would never cheat). it hurts me that he has to drink every day. he even brought a beer into my car once (umm im a MINOR) and even into my house, with my parents there, before i noticed and yelled at him. if ym dad saw it, i would never be able to see him again.

i really liek him but we are having a lot of problems with this. and i can't seem to make it an ISSUE in our relationship though because he does not consider it a problem. i keep sayin to myself that this is a stage and he is jsut excited about finally being legal, and it will all end.

anyway, thanks for listening to me evnt :c)


Posts: 6 | From: marina, ca, usa | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Sugarvaulter, you write that your boyfriend drinks daily, that he regularly drives when drunk. This is scary. Your boyfriend is a danger to himself and others. You write that he says he drinks constantly because it "relaxes" him. If he needs it, that's dependancy if not outright alcoholism. If nothing else, your boyfriend is headed towards permanent brain damage. I've seen it in my family.

My wife used to work for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (then called the Ontario Addiction Research Foundation). What they have learned is that alcohol is the most addictive and most dangerous drug on the planet.

Trust me, you don't want to be involved with or stay involved with an alcoholic. If you love this boy, you are going to have to insist that he seek treatment. If he refuses, you should cut him loose. I know that sounds harsh. Sometimes the threat of lost of job or a loved one is the only incentive that will make alcoholics decide to seek treatment.

You might want to talk to your local chapter of Alateen . This is a no-cost organization for teens that are affected by the drinking problems of a friend or loved one.

Good luck on this.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-24-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-24-2001).]

Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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in my relationship i am the problem. me and my husband are heading for a breakup if i dont snap out of my depression soon. i am over-emotional. icry about everything. i get mad and start yelling at him for no reason. and i dont know what to do about it. i try to be nice but the smallest things set me off. i dont know what to do about it. my husband loves me but he also wants to seperate. im thinking that maybe we need some time apart but i dont know what i would do if we didnt get back together after that. im terrified that i am going to lose him becauseof my problems.
Posts: 365 | From: dayton,ohio,u.s.a. | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I'm sorry you're in such a sticky situation. Why don't you tell your husband how you're feeling and that you don't want to lose him- that you want to work through your problems together. Be honest, and let him know, to the best of your ability, what's going on. <big hugs> You're going to be fine.

"Do what you will, always..
Walk where you like, your steps...
Do as you please,
I'll back you up.." ~DMB

Posts: 121 | From: Some random suburb.. | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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thanks for your reply... i mean, his drinking bothers me, but sometimes i feel like im dreaming up the problem sicne no one else seems to see it/it doesn't seem to bother anyone else. but i don't know. i mean, i know what your saying is RIGHT, but i know i wont be able to bring myself to do anything too effective about it right now... i have only been with him for almsot 2 months, and i see potential in our relationship, so i don't want to end it. but its still too soon for me to give him ultimatums (stop drinking or its over..) because i have a feeling i would lose him, and i don't think i can deal with losing him right now... i know i would regret that.

i appreciate your advice though, and i want to start bringing it up as an issue with him more. anyway, i won't go in circles... basically, i wanted to say thanks, because your reply gave me some affirmation that it IS soemthing i need to deal with, now i just gotta get some courage...! i'll take a look at that site too


Posts: 6 | From: marina, ca, usa | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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